If you want to make your home more energy efficient, the best place to start may be with a professional home-energy audit, a comprehensive analysis that assesses a home or business as a system of interrelated components with respect to energy use. Utility bills, indoor air quality, humidity/moisture problems, comfort and safety are all components that are interconnected within a dynamic process. An energy audit is an opportunity to learn what can be done to maximize the energy efficiency of your home or business, potentially lowering heating/cooling costs, while minimizing potential problems associated with indoor air quality and combustion-appliance safety.
Prices for energy audits vary by market and according to the complexity of the energy tracking and other tests performed. In general, however, they are relatively inexpensive and those prices are for an audit without a subsidy. Many utility companies offer energy-audit services, and some subsidize independent audits for as much as 75 percent of the total cost. Either way, if significant problems are identified and corrected, the audit will more than pay for itself.
On average, according to Erik Lindberg, an energy audit specialist, following the recommendations in an energy audit can result in a 25 percent to 30 percent reduction of annual energy consumption. Moreover, saving money isn't the only reason to have an energy audit performed.
In a thorough audit, four broad areas are covered:
According to Lindberg, in most instances if the first three of the four have been addressed satisfactorily, the fourth (which encompasses monetary savings) will follow naturally. In a typical energy audit, it takes about two hours for an energy auditor to conduct a thorough inspection by looking at windows, doors, insulation levels, attic accesses, appliances, heating and air conditioning systems, etc.
Energy auditors are certified and licensed by the state in which they operate, and must follow standards and procedures established by that state. A complete audit typically includes assessment of the following:
When doing an upgrade, start with a solid home energy survey or a professional audit.
R-value measures the ability to prevent the transfer of heat; the larger the number, the harder that insulation is working at...
The lid of Jeff Wilson's Cape Cod was leaking big time. A new roof bolstered with insulation more than doubles its energy...
Projects by Professionals(at Pro Galleries)
Projects by People Like You (at Rate My Remodel)